Diagnostic Decisions in Neurology

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Throughout the course of history it has always been noted that any ideas about brain function depended upon the highest technological model of the day. Hence, in the Greek or Roman era the ventricular system was singled out because of the devel- opment of hydraulics. Early in this century we drew the analo- gy between telephone circuits and the brain. Now it is popular to characterize neural function as that of a sophisticated com- puter. Indeed, in many ways it may be. But, as yet, the pre- pared human brain will likely prevail in the sorting out of information necessary for a proper diagnosis. In this manual, POECK has provided the ground work for such prepara- Dr. tion. We all admire the clever diagnostician, and usually ascribe the skill to great intuition. Not so! It is the clinician who has seen many patients, and has compiled a menu of choices. Dr. POECK is such a clinician, and he has provided us with his menu of choices. Use of these lists will likely aid the student or resident physician in coming to a proper diagnosis but, more importantly, will help train his or her mind to think in a logical and systematic way. ROBERT J. JOYNT, M.D., Ph.D.